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Tsunami Hits Java, over 40 confirmed dead so far


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JAKARTA (Reuters) - A tsunami triggered by a strong undersea earthquake off the southern coast of Java island swept away buildings at an Indonesian beach resort on Monday and killed nearly 40 people, an official and media reports said.


The news spread panic across a region still recovering from a tsunami less than two years ago that left nearly 230,000 people killed or missing, mostly in Indonesia. But there were no reports of casualties or damage in any other country from Monday's tsunami.


Waves up to 1.5 metres (five feet) high crashed into Pangandaran Beach near Indonesia's Ciamis town, around 270 km (170 miles) southeast of Jakarta, and a local official said 37 people had been killed. The toll could rise, he said.


"We have evacuated 37 dead bodies. The number could grow because when we went to the shore, rescuers were trying to evacuate more bodies," Rudi Supriatna Bahro told Metro TV.


The Ciamis councilman said areas up to half a kilometre (550 yards) from the beach were affected, with flimsily constructed buildings flattened.


"We need tents, food and medical aid for the displaced."


Robert Simatupang of the Indonesian Red Cross disaster crisis center in Jakarta said it had sent rescuers to the scene.


"Over 10 dead bodies have been identified and there are hundreds who are still missing," he said, although he cautioned that some of the missing may simply be separated from family.


The country's official Antara news agency reported several deaths had also occurred at two other beach resorts in Java.


"An earthquake has happened and then was followed by a tsunami on the southern coast of Ciamis (regency)," Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono earlier told reporters.


"... the search is still going on to find those who probably have been swept away by the tsunami waves."


A tsunami warning for Java's southern coast and nearby Christmas Island was issued by the U.S.-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. Police on Christmas Island, an Australian territory south of Indonesia, said there was no damage there.



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And some experts say it might happen every 60 years or so :o



In the immediate aftermath of the 2004 southeast Asia tsunami, Arthur E. Berman, editor,

Houston Geological Society Bulletin, and director, PetroleumReports.com, wrote this compelling

personal response to the catastrophe. We present here an abridged version of the original



There were four earthquakes with

magnitude 7.0 or greater in the Sunda-

Java Trench region of Indonesia in 2004

alone, before the Northern Sumatra

earthquake! Based on nothing more statistically

valid than the Tambora and

Krakatoa eruptions, one could estimate

that mega-earthquakes and tsunamis

occur at about a 75 year interval in this

region. Because there had not been a

seismic event on this scale in 121 years

since Krakatoa, the region was overdue.

With the addition of the 2004 data

point, the recurrence interval appears

to be about 60 years.

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